A career is not something that happens to you from out of nowhere. It is not served to you on a silver platter. It is something that you build through years of doing what you love doing. It is a product of preparation and careful planning. To many people, it is what defines their existence.
Some people make several career changes in their lifetime. This sometimes works, especially if you are looking for a better position and higher pay. But the risk here is that you might make a wrong turn and end up with nothing. When this happens, you find yourself starting all over again.
Career changes can be avoided if early on you have already decided what career to pursue. Preparing early for a career gives you a lot of time to make some detours and commit some mistakes, if it has to come to that, with still plenty of years ahead to spare.
And once you have chosen a career, you have to work real hard to strengthen and advance it. Here are some tips that you can follow to keep your career going.
Get yourself a mentor. You have to accept the fact that you can’t possibly learn everything by yourself. Be humble enough to admit that you need a mentor, somebody who can guide you in your career. This person could be somebody who has survived the challenges in his career and passed life’s many tests with flying colors. A mentor hands over to you the tricks of the trade and the secrets to his success.
Have a role model. This is different from a mentor in the sense that you don’t seek advice from a role model. A role model is one whose qualities as a person you want to have for yourself. It may be the way he carries himself in the office, the way he dresses up, the way he speaks and gets along with others. He must be somebody who occupies a higher position than yours.
Learn new skills. Do not stagnate in where you are now. There is always something new to learn in your field of work. Take advantage of the trainings, workshops and seminars your company provides to employees. Keep on researching about your career. The Internet is a good source of learning what’s new in your field of work.
Do networking. Become a member of networking organizations in your area. Groups like the National Association of Professional Women ( NAPW ) offer their members all sorts of activities to help them grow in their career.